DIY & Tips

Playing it Safe: 5 Common Houseplants to Avoid If You Have Children or Pets

There are wonderful health benefits to growing houseplants in your home. They can help purify the air and can help you and your family breathe easier. However, sometimes your pet or child may be tempted to touch or eat these plants. While some of these common houseplants are harmless, others may leave your children and pets seriously sick or injured. Here are some plants that you should reconsider having if anyone in your home has the tendency to be overly curious:

Any and All Cactuses

This recommendation should be a no-brainer. No one should ever touch the pointy spines of a cactus with their bare hands. But sometimes, at least for those who have never seen a cactus before, the spines might be mistaken for something resembling hair. Even worse, cactuses only bloom every once in a while, making them even more tempting. If you can trust that your child or pet will not touch your cactus, make sure that you keep them on a surface where they won’t easily be knocked over and accidentally injure someone.

English Ivy

Ivies look gorgeous when hanging on a pot. But be careful: touching the plant can cause irritations. For cats and dogs, symptoms may include drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea. Just make sure that you keep them far away from the ground and places where your pet could climb on.

Easter Lily

While pretty to look at in full bloom, this plant is especially dangerous for cats. All parts of the Easter Lily (petals, leaves, stems, and pollen) can have the potential to cause severe kidney damage. Thankfully, dogs and humans aren’t as susceptible to the poisoning potential, but that doesn’t mean your furry feline should have to suffer!

Aloe Vera

The aloe vera plant would’ve been a great, non-pointy substitute for a cactus. But while the gel inside the plant can offer wonderful health benefits – such as treating burns and skin conditions-, the outer skin may cause irritations if you’re allergic to latex. It may cause cramps and diarrhea as well. To be safe, we advise keeping this plant away from your pets and children.

Spider Plant

While this plant is technically not poisonous, the spider plant should still be kept away from pets -especially cats. Spider plants may resemble toys that cats typically play with. What makes this plant harmful is that it contains mild hallucinogenic substances that are similar to those found in opium. Your cat could also experience symptoms like an upset stomach and vomiting. If you have nowhere to place this plant out of reach, consider spraying a bitter-tasting repellent to discourage your cat from nibbling on it.

Plants can literally bring more life to your home, but some varieties may not be as friendly for your overly-curious pets and children. You do not necessarily have to substitute real plants with artificial ones or exclude them altogether (although that is an option if you choose), but just be mindful of what you include in your home and how it will be treated by those in your household.

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